House and Senate Democrats are purportedly working on a three- to five-year SGR “fix” as part of the so called tax extenders bill, H.R 4213, the “American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010.”
The original SGR language in H.R. 4213 included a zero percent update or a freeze until September 30, 2010. The current SGR-freeze expires on May 31, 2010. It is understood that the House Ways and Means Committee is discussing a longer-term extension in the range of three to four, possibly five years. The amount of any update is not known. The budget resolution passed by the House and Senate exempted the cost of a five-year SGR fix (estimated a $80 billion) which means the cost of anything less than a five-year SGR fix would not have to be paid for if included in H.R. 4213.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sandy Levin wants to move a bill prior to the Memorial Day recess. It is likely that the House will make changes to the Senate passed version of H.R. 4213 and then send it back over to the Senate for its approval without amendment. The major sticking points continue to be how they off-set the costs of the non-SGR portions of the bill as the pay-fors used by the Senate were ultimately used to help pay for healthcare reform bill.
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